Football Sport

Defensive naivety to cost Arsenal

Written by Ben Blaschke

The showdown between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium attracted lots of attention, although the game was scheduled for Monday night and therefore the middle of the night in this part of the world. The 0-0 scoreline might appear an anti-climax but the match itself was a highly entertaining one with plenty of defensive errors from both sides. In fact, the game was so open that the scoreless result was the biggest surprise of all.

Arron Ramsey scored a legitimate goal in the opening minutes, only to be wrongly ruled out during a period in which Arsenal completely dominated. But strangely, Liverpool fought back into the game after 10 minutes with a high defensive line and a relentless press of the final third afterwards. Liverpool’s best performers, Coutinho and James Milner, caused chaos in the Gunner’s defense with their movement and pressing. The two young Arsenal central halves, Gabriel and Calum Chambers, became so vulnerable that every touch or pass threatened to lead to a Liverpool goal.

In the first half, Coutinho, Christian Benteke and James Milner all had the chances to score but Petr Cech and the post somehow managed to keep the ball out. With the expectation of continuing the dominance of the first half, Reds fans were baffled to again see the game turn in the second half. It was high drama for all as the home side calmed down and became aggressive up front again. Once Liverpool lost the effective link between defense and attack, therefore giving up possession of the ball, it became clear this was a losing battle for Brendan Rodgers.

But surprisingly, Simon Mignolet rose to be the savior for Liverpool with a series of incredible saves from close range. Hats off to Arsene Wenger for turning the game around in the second half, but with the profound defensive naivety they displayed at times it must be said that Arsenal’s prospects this season doesn’t look so bright after all.